Firewords Issue 1 is now available for purchase. 32 pages of entertaining prose and poetry from fiery new writers. Each story is accompanied in some way by a graphical style tailored to that story which makes Firewords one of a kind. Unique!
Here’s a link to an online article re the promotional Issue Zero which explains how each story was represented artistically / graphically. http://cargocollective.com/danb/Firewords-Quarterly-Issue-Zero
I know I’ve put a lot of work into Firewords, but my efforts pale in comparison to the other two talented members of the team Jennifer Scott (Associate Editor) & Dan Burgess (Chief Editor). These two have put so much time and effort into this, not to mention love and care, that it deserves to be a success.
Magazines like Firewords will only survive if readers support the publication. So please if you fancy a good entertaining read give Firewords a try. Here’s the link to the website where you can order a copy: http://www.firewords.co.uk/shop/
Writers - The above sales pitch applies to you too. Check the magazine out. It will give you a good idea of the material we’re looking for. When you see the artistic slant given to each work I’m positive you will want your work to appear in our hallowed pages. The only way to make that happen is to submit stories / poetry. Here’s the submissions link: http://www.firewords.co.uk/submit/ Yes, submissions are currently closed but we re-open on the 9th June which isn’t very far away.
I love holidays, but hey, who doesn't? This year we headed off to the sunny Canary Island of La Palma. One of the great joys of being away is the fact I get quality reading time. I packed six books to take with me, and I managed to finish them all.
Here they are, and rest assured there are no spoilers in the following text:
Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler
This is the first Bryant & May novel. The first one I read was The Victoria Vanishes which I enjoyed so much I decided to read the series in order. For those who don’t know; Bryant & May are two ageing detectives who head up the Metropolitan Police’s Peculiar Crimes Unit.
Full Dark House starts and ends in the present day but the narrative jumps back to world war two London, and it really tells the story of the young Bryant & May on their first meeting / investigation. Our central characters are colourful and engaging. Bryant is irascible, he doesn't understand women, he’s an English eccentric fond of a practical joke or two and damn the consequences. You can’t help but like him. May is his antithesis. Good looking, affable, popular with the ladies even in his advanced years.
Bryant is constantly looking for the unusual motive, while May is more grounded in his approach. Ultimately, they like and respect each other, while occasionally infuriating one another. Yes, they’re like a married couple.
The book is engaging and witty, while managing to incorporate elements of historical fact without dropping the reader into a history book. The plot is engaging and is set within London’s theatre world.
I didn't quite enjoy it as much as The Victoria Vanishes, but it’s a great introduction to the Peculiar Crimes Unit and the ever great Bryant & May. If you like crime fiction, and if you haven’t given them a go, I can heartily recommend this book.
Last Seen Wearing by Colin Dexter
This is the second Morse adventure, and I have to say that this was pure brilliance. Characterisation, pace, plot, dialog…I could just wax lyrical about this all day. If you haven’t read the Morse books, please, give them a shot.
The main story twists and turns so many times that you’re basically on the last page before you know where the endings going. I don’t want to say anything else in case I say too much. My favourite holiday read, and one of my favourite reads of all time.
We’ll Always Have Paris by Ray Bradbury
I love Bradbury. The Golden Apples of the Sun was the first book that blew me away, the first book that gave me that spark about writing my own stories.
This later collection of short stories doesn't quite live up to his earlier works, but there were quite a few in the collection that I really liked.
Nobody does nostalgia quite like Bradbury. His prose has a poetic edge to it that is unmistakably him. He takes us to Mars and to L.A, he tells us strange little stories along with tales of everyday life, but ultimately for me Bradbury’s stories are always about human nature. Simple tales of you and me beautifully told with colour and life.
The Mysterious Mr. Quinn by Agatha Christie
I love Poirot. I've never read a Miss Marple adventure, but Nemesis in in my reading pile. I've read several of her stand-alone books, and other tales of her lesser known sleuths. Christie’s sales and seemingly undying popularity speak for itself. I am undoubtedly a fan.
Having said that this collection of short stories featuring the titular Mr. Quinn was a mixed bag. These stories were very different from anything else of Christie’s that I've ever read.
Harley Quinn is not a detective, amateur or otherwise, he’s a supernatural figure of mystery. He appears at the most opportunistic times. All of the stories feature the unflappable Mr. Satterthwaite, who is basically the main character in all of the stories.
Mr. Quinn questions what people have seen, or at least what they think they've seen, and the aforementioned Satterthwaite does the rest. Once the conclusion is set the mysterious Quinn disappears in much the same way as he magically appears.
Worth a read if you’re a Christie fan and you fancy reading something slightly different.
The last two books on my reading list? They were guilty pleasures; two books from my childhood that I wanted to revisit. Very much geek material so I’ll spare you the details.
More posts soon including a release date for the 13 Anthology.
Two posts in one day. What's going on? Well, I've been busy looking at markets lately. My main focus has been trying to find a home for 13 Seconds. There were many possibles, a few probables, but in the end I opted for Horror D'oeuvres which is produced by DARKFUSE.
Why? Well for one they actually pay you. 5 cents a word is pretty good. I also liked the design of their website. You can't read the stories in full unless you subscribe. However, from what I could see all of the stories were well written, and professionally presented.
The submission information is clear. The rights they ask for is listed clearly. They use Submittable to handle the submission process. As a fan of Submittable this was also a bonus. Oh, and did I mention that they pay you?
They also seem to genuinely care about the writer. The author bio, which was mandatory not optional, allowed you to express yourself in a significant 250 words. If you've got a website they want to have a look, and they're interested in how you will market the work too. Two way partnerships. They're great.
And of coure they pay you. Damn, that jokes wearing thin. Note to self...must do better! To be honest, it looked like a website that I'd be proud to have my work displayed on.
I hope they like my work as much as I liked them.
Here's a link to their website which I shall also add to the Useful Links page: http://www.horrordoeuvres.com/
You can also find them on twitter @DarkFuse
if you're a reader of Horror fiction check them out. If you're a writer of Horror fiction check them out. What have you got to lose.
Great News!!! The Editor at Erotic Shades has just informed me that Fantasies will be published on the 30th March. I can't wait. I'll do an expanded blog entry on Erotic Shades either on the 30th or the 31st. I like what they're trying to do, and they're a friendly bunch.
Apologies, it's been quiet around here. I've been bogged down with 'Project 13' and another short story called 'Night Owls' which I'm desperate to finish.
I've also got the worlds highest reading pile at the moment. I read the 'Last Bus To Wodstock' the other day. It's the first Inspector Morse novel. I'm a fan of detective fiction as in traditional detectve fiction, not the scientific forensic type. I've been reading stories about such fictional greats as Holmes, Poirot, Maigret, Inspector Wolf, The Baron, Cribb, and my current personal favourites Bryant & May for many years.
I've aways avoided Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse novels. I thought they were going to be a little bit pretentious, elitist, and hard to get into. I couldn't have been more wrong. The 'Last Bus To Woodstock' was a well written, easy to read, well plotted, witty, and engaging tale that really drew me in.
I loved Morse. There's elements of his character that I really related to. We share the same love of pubs and real ale for one.
I'm now reading Patrick Rothfuss' highly rated 'The Name of The Wind.' I'm about 200 pages into this mighty epic. I'm enjoying it but dare I say that nothing much has actually happened in those 200 pages. One key event in the main characters past, and some mystery about current events with the spiders, but not a lot else so far.
That's it for now. My next post will be the feature on Erotic Shades.
M J Wolfson - That's me.